Olympics Postponed; Brands Make Zooms Classier: Wednesday’s First Things First

Plus, learn sports leagues and athletes are turning to TikTok after season cancellations

A virtual background of a table, lights and cabinet
The Behr paint brand was one of the first to take advantage of Zoom's popular virtual-background option. Behr
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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Brands Are Creating Zoom Backgrounds to Class Up Your Quarantine

The coronavirus outbreak and its resulting era of quarantine has us all beaming unfiltered versions of our homes out to the masses, bosses and clients included. Fortunately, popular video conferencing platform Zoom allows users to add “virtual backgrounds” for green-screen-like video backdrops—and now, brands are quickly jumping in to get ahead of the demand for suitable images.

See it: Behr Paint, West Elm and The Infatuation quickly jumped in to get ahead of the demand for suitable images.

Summer Olympics in Tokyo Postponed to 2021 Due to Coronavirus

The 2020 Summer Olympics have officially become the latest sports event—and by far the biggest—to be postponed as a result of COVID-19. The move will have a massive impact on Comcast’s NBCUniversal, which began marketing the event back in 2018, and Discovery Inc., which has Olympics rights through 2024 in several European countries via Eurosport.

Read more: After the IOC’s announcement, NBCU and Discovery Inc. weighed in on the postponement.

Entertainment & Ad Tech Scope Out Next Steps in This New Reality

Peacock, Quibi and HBO Max Still Plan to Launch as Scheduled

Upcoming streaming services Peacock, Quibi and HBO Max still plan to debut as planned despite coronavirus-related upheaval. Peacock’s complications included the disruption of three daily live programs focused on the Summer Olympics, while Quibi’s plans for a red-carpet launch event and a SXSW activation were canceled.

Read more: Streamers are increasingly being seen as companies poised to benefit from an intensely captive audience.

A+E Networks Shifts Upfront Push From Content to COVID-19 Social Initiatives

After canceling its annual upfront event, A+E Networks is downplaying the programming plans it had initially planned to tout and instead focusing on its COVID-19 initiatives and other pro-social community efforts, including working with the American Red Cross, as well as the Ad Council and CDC’s new marketing initiative by sharing info on its networks, donating money and airing PSAs.

Read more: The company is also sharing free educational materials on History.com to help the millions of students who have had to switch to distance learning.

  • “This unprecedented new landscape serves up a challenge to brands to embrace the realities of modern marketing in a digital world,” says Amy Cotteleer, chief experience officer and partner at Duncan Channon. “It’s a world where brands must put people, not products, first; where consumers crave connection, not commercials; where technology must deliver better experiences, not just broadcast information.”

Sports Leagues Were Already All in on TikTok. Then the Coronavirus Hit.

Long before the coronavirus pandemic, the major American sports leagues started cultivating their presence on TikTok. Now, many of those leagues, along with their teams and athletes, are rerouting their social media strategies and rethinking TikTok during an outbreak that promises to render their sports dormant for the foreseeable future.

Read more: Some teams are even hosting virtual versions of scheduled games.

Media Agencies Are Rethinking Their Supply Chain to Combat In-Housing

Programmatic trading is entering a new era. Marketers are increasingly taking media buying in-house as changes in privacy laws and spending  and Big Tech’s dominance put pressure on the legacy business models of network media agencies. In response, some of these players are starting to alter how they repackage ad tech and then offer it to advertisers in a bid to better improve their proposition.

Read more: As ad tech becomes the default means of media trading, media agencies are attempting to counter this trend with a revised proposition for marketers, with transparency at its core.

We’re Adweek Together, Working Through the Coronavirus Crisis

As we continue to keep the industry updated through reporting, insights, tips and guides, whether that be in the magazine, online, through our podcasts or video series, we’re launching one more resource: #AdweekTogether, a daily live discussion hosted by Adweek editors along with the leaders of the companies we cover, seeking guidance, solutions and information—together. Watch on our website and on our LinkedIn page at 1 p.m. ET every day.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News & Insights

The LA Rams Reveal New Look—Amid Pandemic—to Mixed Reviews

The LA Rams debuted a refreshed look and feel for the brand including a new logo, typeface and color scheme. So far, the response suggests that the timing—launching the refresh during a pandemic—may not have been the best choice.

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@JessZafarris jessica.zafarris@adweek.com Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.
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